Google might have a tough time with Pixel 4. Following disappointing sales of the Pixel 3, and the redemption of the line with the far more affordable Pixel 3A, the Pixel 4 XL has to offer sufficient flagship-worthy extras to make the £829 price worth paying.
With the significant uplift in great camera phones at varying prices this year, it’s no longer good enough for Google to have an “okay” phone with an “amazing” camera, and Google knows it.
With Pixel 4 XL, Google has taken many more risks. It has radar operated motion gestures for halting alarms and skipping tracks; it foregoes fingerprint security entirely for face unlock, and it adds an extra camera on the back something Google seemed staunchly against a few years ago.
Google Pixel 4 XL camera – An absolute pleasure
The Google Pixel 4 XL is a good phone, but it’s genuinely great in one domain: the camera. This device is a pleasure to shoot with, so much so that we can almost forgive the shortcomings elsewhere because the captured images can look excellent.
The most apparent upgrade this time around is the addition of a secondary sensor on the rear of the device.
This 16-megapixel 2x telephoto lens joins the standard f/1.7 12-megapixel full unit. Peek into the camera app, though, and you might not even know there’s a secondary sensor there.
Unlike most other phones, there’s no quick way to jump to 2x, and even when you’re zooming, it isn’t entirely distinct which camera you’re using.
Instead, Google uses both the cameras for a multitude of tasks, utilizing the data received by both to generally improving your snaps.
The Portrait mode is probably the most elegant use of this new sensor, now defaulting to a slightly more zoomed-in look.
Portrait shots taken with this camera are sublime, comfortably better than the already impressive iPhone 11. The way it manages to cut out around hair is unmatched, and the results are smooth and sharp.
The excellent camera, software, and design are the things that Pixel 4 has to offer, but battery life, poor storage options, and lack of an ultra-wide lens mean there are better options out there.
For example, the OnePlus 7T is cheaper at £599, offers far more storage, a longer-lasting battery that charges more quickly while also retaining the 90Hz Display.
In most cases, you’ll also get just as good snaps from the £719/$699 iPhone 11 – and then, of course, there’s the genuinely excellent Pixel 3a and 3a XL.
- Excellent camera for photos
- The Grippy body is a nice change from the usual, highly polished flagships
- Smooth Display is a significant upgrade
- Great software
- Disappointing battery life
- Lack of ultra-wide camera is a shame
- Motion Sense features are currently limited
- Storage options only up to 128GB
- Screen: 6.3in QHD+ OLED (90Hz, 537ppi)
- Processor: octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 855
- RAM: 6GB
- Storage: 64 or 128GB
- Operating system: Android 10
- Camera: Dual rear cameras (12.2+16MP) with OIS, 8MP front-facing camera
- Connectivity: LTE, wifi 5, NFC, eSIM, Bluetooth 5, GPS, 3D face recognition
- Dimensions: 75.1 x 160.4 x 8.2mm
- Weight: 193g
- The Google Pixel 4 XL with 64GB of storage : £829 ($899)
- The Google Pixel 4 XL with 128GB of storage : £929 ($999) .